Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Good Reads: Weil's "Spontaneous Happiness" & Troncoso's "Crossing Borders"

I got an early Christmas gift this weekend and have begun to dip into Andrew Weil's latest book, Spontaneous Happiness. Though I haven't gotten very far yet, I couldn't recommend a more important book for one's well being than this one. I should say that I was introduced to Weil via friend and writer C. M. Mayo during my bouts of back surgery. His CD has been a god-send to me for relaxation and meditation. In fact I listen to it weekly. I can't wait to get some free time to be able to soak up his easy to grasp advice.

The other book that came by way is Sergio Troncoso's collection of essays, Crossing Borders. Having grown up in El Paso, I can relate to his essays on a very personal level. His range and rather interesting family history is noteworthy, with a sister who lived in Iran for a while and his wife being Jewish. I found "Fresh Challah" revealing but also personal enough that many can relate to his experience in a very universal manner. I look forward to catching more insights into his personal journey of sorts.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Theatre Around DC-Arena Stage, Signature, WSC Avant Bard

If you have the itch to catch theatre that will enthrall you, then I strongly urge you to visit Arena Stage and see Equivocation.

Equivocation, a play by Bill Cain and directed by Bill Rauch, will keep you on your toes and never bore you, in fact you will sit and try your darnest to put all the plays together, for the playwright has sewed several bits and parts together to help create a memorable night out for engaging theatre. To top it off, the cast is perfect and they work in tandem and yet even when they play several different characters one is never confused by it. I can't push this play more than any serious play I have seen in a long time. When the audience gives it a standing ovation during the first week, if not the first night's performance, trust me you can't go wrong.

I can't end this without saying that the new actors, Gregory Linington and John Tufts, making their debut at Arena, are super!

Hairspray at Signature:
Now for the sublime, if you have the urge to cut loose and simply enjoy a good musical, then I suggest you go to the Signature Theatre in Arlington to see Hairspray.

This musical made famous by John Waters' film with the play's book by Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan and the lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman can certainly let you forget about office politics and the minutia we all have to manage.

Once again Eric Schaeffer, Arlington's director guru of theatre, with Karma Camp and Brianne Camp as choreographers put on a very entertaining evening of retro-theatre (pre-interracial dancing on TV).

Carolyn Cole in the leading role of Tracy Turnblad, along with Nova Y. Payton as Motormouth Maybelle both bring down the house. Stephen Gregory Smith again plays his role well, as he did in the last play titled The Boy Detective Falls--it's his keen ability to move in and out of characters with a wide range of depth and age.

Then for those of you who are used to listening or watching Robert Aubry Davis, hold on to your seats because he is playing the role made famous by Divine, no other than Edna Turnblad. He does it well and his nervous itch adds to the character's actual role on stage; he manages to sign and dance and why on Earth was he not available instead of John Travolta when they redid the film a few years ago.

The Mistorical Hystery of Henry (I)V at WSC Avant Bard:
But if you are still wanting more Shakespeare but a bit shaken and not stirred, then get yourself to the Artisphere in Rossyln, Arlington.

This mixture of plays is adapted and directed by Tom Mallan with a very large cast but they move and shake and you will not be bored but you might have a challenge trying to keep the mixture of plays apart, so be prepared.

The use of visuals is truly awesome and one doesn't get it all until the very end, so I won't give it away.

So there you are. I'm sure there are other deserving plays showing but these were my past week's escape to theatre as I'm really an actor wanting my own stage, as I tell my students often.

Friday, November 04, 2011


Gival Press ebooks in Kindle & Nook Formats

Gival Press currently has 11 different titles in ebook format for the Kindle and for the Nook.

The Fall 2011 titles include:

Gone by Sundown
by Peter Leach

Winner of the Gival Press Novel Award

Show Up, Look Look
by Mark Wisniewski

The Pleasuring of Men
by Clifford Browder


The Silent Art
by Clifford Bernier

Winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award

12: Sonnets for the Zodiac
by John Gosslee

Previous releases

The Cannibal of Guadalajara
by David Winner

Winner of the Gival Press Novel Award

That Demon Life
by Lowell Mick White

Winner of the Gival Press Novel Award

Second Acts
by Tim W. Brown

Winner of the London Book Festival for Fiction

A Tomb on the Periphery
by John Domini


The Refugee
by Vladimir Levchev

Psaltery and Serpentines
by Cecilia Martinez-Gil

Winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award

Click on the link to purchase ebooks:
Gival Press Kindle ebooks at

Click on the link to purchase ebooks:
Gival Press Nook ebooks at

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